What are your thoughts on KXL? PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business, Economy & Finance
Written by Rep. Bobby Schilling   
Friday, 23 March 2012 12:48

Dear Friend,

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been unhappy lately about the prices you’re paying at the pump.  Last week I put $100 worth of gas in my car, and it didn’t even fill up the tank!

Today, the average price in Illinois for a gallon of mid-grade gas is $4.29.  This is about 63 cents higher than Illinoisans paid at the pump just a month ago, and around 30 cents higher than the current national average.  Worse yet is that some analysts are predicting that we’ll hit a national average of $4.25 by late April.  I don’t want to see what that national average will mean for gas prices at home in Illinois.

Despite what some folks say, there is action we can take immediately to help lower energy costs, create jobs, and help grow the economy.  I have voted for and the House has passed several bipartisan bills that will help lower energy costs, create jobs, and help grow our economy.  Unfortunately, these bills are among the more than 25 House-passed jobs bills currently held up in the Senate.

Along with many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, I also support construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would create jobs and help lower energy costs without adding to our debt.  The Keystone XL project has the support of both Democrats and Republicans, of both business and labor, and would help reduce our dependency on unstable foreign energy sources.  With so many families struggling to get by in this difficult economic climate, we cannot afford to sit by and watch as gas prices continue to soar.

I want to hear your thoughts on action we can take to lessen the pain at the pump.  Please take a few moments, visit my website, and share with me your views on the Keystone XL pipeline project.  Remember that you can always send me a more detailed message with your thoughts or questions on energy policy or any other topic by clicking here.

Getting our nation’s financial house in order and further stabilizing our economy is also an important step toward getting Americans back to work.  This week, the House Budget Committee is unveiling its Fiscal Year 2013 budget proposal.

The debate about federal spending in FY 2013 isn’t only about spending and taxes.  But because 21% percent of our annual federal budget is spent on health insurance programs, this debate is also about who will control our health care.

In passing the President’s health care reform law in 2010, the last Congress raided more than $500 million from Medicare to pay for an “Independent Payment Advisory Board” - an unaccountable, unelected board of bureaucrats who will decide what care and how much care Medicare patients may receive.

I firmly disagree with this approach.  Medicare is a lifeline to American seniors.  Nothing is as important to our seniors as having guaranteed health care coverage.  Now, with 10,000 baby boomers reaching retirement age every day and doctors already limiting the number of Medicare patients they see, we need to improve health care for both today’s and tomorrow’s retirees.

There has been a lot of money spent by outside political groups to perpetuate the falsehood that I somehow support ending Medicare.  In fact, the Pulitzer prize-winning publication Politifact determined this to be the "Lie of the Year.”

In reality, with our FY 2012 budget proposal last year, the House actually passed a plan that would make no changes to Medicare for those aged 55 and older, but would improve and strengthen Medicare so it lasts for future generations.  Medicare is currently estimated to run out of money in less than 10 years if we don’t take action to save it for our kids and grandkids.

While rooting out billions of dollars in waste, fraud, and abuse, under our plan the wealthier and healthier would receive less support, and lower-income and sicker individuals would receive more.  Our plan lets individuals choose a personalized, guaranteed health care plan that best fits their needs.  Ultimately, our plan results in a stronger and more secure health care system for future generations, so stay tuned as we continue working to guarantee health care for today’s and tomorrow’s retirees.

My office sends out a regular e-newsletter to folks in your community allowing us to stay in touch about my work in our nation’s capital and in your hometown.  I hope you will subscribe, and stay up to date on what’s happening behind the headlines on gas prices, Medicare, and more.  Just visit my website and sign up! I also encourage you to visit my Facebook or Twitter pages for other ways to stay up to date with what I’m doing.

It is an honor to serve you.  Don't hesitate to reach out if I can ever be of assistance.  If you find yourself struggling to make sense of federal agencies or having an issue with Medicare, the Department of Veterans Affairs, your passport or any federal agency, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me and my staff at (309) 757-7630.  Constituent casework is the most important part of my job, and we will continue to work tirelessly to help.

Bobby Schilling
Member of Congress

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